Greetings commanders, I'm fairly new to the game compared to most of you Elite pilots, but I absolutely love this game. So I'm a tad confused as to what the point of pigeonholing us all permanently into this little bubble of space is, whilst simultaneously allowing us to explore and drift hundreds of thousands of light-years outside of it with no means of establishing a presence in some of these awesome systems you run across exploring. I'm an avid advocate that we, as player factions & squadrons, should have a means to build / establish a presence outside that bubble.
My best hypothetically feasible idea, (with no clue logistically how or what would be needed to incorporate it into the existing game engine & coding, mind you)…
…would be to allow a player to pay an initial investment of credits to "claim" a sector. This expense should be in the FC levels of high, to ensure people aren't willy nilly about it. Once that "claim" was made, I imagine a sort of "community-goal-esque" event, whereby a huge list of raw materials, commodities, etc., would have to be hauled to the site Oregon Trail style through deep space, and upon completion a faction controlled small star base, or planetary outpost would be constructed, based on the initiating players aligned power.
Then let's say at that point, after "X" amount of time, there's another huge expense / grind that opens up that allows for the construction of a fully fledged station.
During both of these grinds, however, the established trade route becomes public knowledge, so you can now justify the existence of huge pirate battles in the middle of nowhere (allowing for combat and some risk in transport), and alternatively also allowing for the creation of opposing community goals from enemy factions to impede the progress and actually give players in Open mode missions to push onto those trade routes to rob & pillage that resource route outside the bubble.
I can see a year or two down the line entirely community based expansion into resource rich sectors, alongside lush and profitable long range shipping / protection opportunities, and all the piracy you could want out there in "international waters", and the players naturally expanding outward into new & exciting locations. It just feels like currently, exploration serves no real purpose other than taking cool screenshots and mapping star systems for money. I saw this tweet from the developers that was congratulations for getting to less than one percent of the galaxy explored.
I'd argue vehemently that that number isn't a byproduct of the sheer scale of the game, rather a byproduct of there being truly no purpose in bothering with exploration for someone not like me and some of you who just wants to road trip into the black for the experience.
Implementation of any means of expansion is naturally going to cause a chain reaction that will ripple into every community within the game. Haulers, fighters, miners, etc., would find themselves all with huge "endgame" aspirations to make their fortune in what essentially in its infancy would be like the Yukon gold rush towns, and it would be glorious.
….what are the thoughts on this? I'm just spitballing random thoughts here, I'd be curious what kind of ideas the community has.